New roommate

February 28, 2003

It's been five days since Clarissa moved into my apartment. I'm not sure the transition could have gone any smoother. We get along really well (who don't I get along with though?) and she's been very thoughtful and kind. I think the following question puts it all into perspective: "Justin, do you like brownies and cakes and stuff?" Apparently, she likes to cook these sorts of things. Jackpot!

So anyways, that's that. It appears as if the 'forced' arrangement has worked itself out for the best. She's a neat girl.

Not amused

February 25, 2003

It's been a very bad day. I have been told that I'm not going to graduate this semester. I'm petitioning it. Apparently, I'm not allowed to put more than 3 credits of programming courses toward the 18 credits of tech elective courses I must take. I was not made aware of this until TODAY when I went to fill out my exit interview. One advisor said all was well (as they've always said), but another advisor, whom I asked the same question because I'm anal-retentive, told me that I was missing 3 tech-elective credits.

I'm obviously extremely upset about this and almost lost it today in my advisor's office. I have too much stuff lined up for the summer as some of you know, and being made to take a course would throw a HUGE wrench in everything. The fact is, I took CGS3460 (C) and CIS4930 (C++) and received an A in both. I was under the impression that I could take 4930 because I thought that the 3 credit programming rule applied only to 3000-level courses. I took CGS3460 quite a few semesters ago and took CIS4930 last semester. I WOULD NOT have signed up for the course if I knew that it wouldn't count toward my degree. Period. Given the way that I am, I'm sure I went over it MORE THAN ONCE with an advisor before signing up for it.

The best part is that on ISIS, our online degree-auditing system, it says that everything is fine and that all requirements have been met. Go figure.

So, if it turns out that I have to take a class over the summer, not only will I have to pay for another course, BUT it will also render implausible any internship plans I might have had, not to mention the fact that the time I spent last semester on the C++ course will be all for not.

At the end of the day, 4930 was a 4000-level programming course and my major is computer engineering. It's not like I took in-line skating and tried to pass it off as a tech elective. It was a genuine, honest oversight by myself and the advisors and I don't feel that I should be penalized because of it, especially to the extent of my graduation being postponed. We'll see what happens. Like I said, it's being petitioned. Fingers are crossed.    :(

Movable Type script update

February 23, 2003

Regarding the Movable Type PHP script that I posted a few days ago, I realized today that I didn't account for the case when the viewing year and the year of the post aren't the same. This has been corrected and can be seen in the following code. Again, be sure to place this within an MTEntries container if you plan on using it on your site.

UPDATE: E-mail me for the code.


February 22, 2003

I was told that since I was the only person in a four-bedroom apartment that I would either be moved to another apartment or people would be moved into mine (during this semester). I was also told that the best (and easiest) thing for me to do was to let Clarissa (the second girl to come up from downstairs) move into my apartment. I've agreed to that and she is moving in on Monday. She seems nice enough. Only time will tell.

Relative dates in Movable Type

February 20, 2003

After seeing something that I really liked on Textism, I decided to implement it myself. It has to do with the way that the post times are displayed. As it was, I simply had the entry date above the entries, like most weblogs. Now, as you can see, I have the time relative to the viewer's [current] time. If you use Movable Type and are interested in this method, I've included my PHP code below. Very simple.

UPDATE: E-mail me for the code.

I feel like an ass

February 19, 2003

Grr. The second girl from downstairs came up again last night while myself and a buddy of mine were working on the digital design lab. She brought up the CO-ED form and asked if I would sign it. I thought it odd that she wanted me to sign this now so I asked her about it and she told me that she wanted to move in as soon as possible. Now, I was really confused. Just yesterday she asked me about moving in over the summer. She mentioned NOTHING about this semester. Regardless, I told her that I really enjoyed the situation as it was and would like to leave it that way as long as I could. She asked me to keep the CO-ED form and to think about it and get back to her by the end of the week. I thought I had made my position quite clear, but apparently not. I repeatedly told her not to be upset with me if I hadn't changed my mind by the time I got back to her.

She asked me to call her when I made a decision about it. I stress 'call' because she didn't want me going down to her apartment as her roommates apparently know nothing about her moving out. Anyways, I called her today and left a message telling her that the summer thing was fine, but that I would like to keep the apartment to myself until the end of the semester. I feel really bad, but why should I be inconvenienced just because she can't get along with her roommates? Whatever. I still feel bad.

Why is there more drama in my apartment with one person than there was with four?

Back to work I go.

I love her

February 18, 2003

Zora, the cat's out of the bag. All of America knows that "Joe Millionaire" picked you, but they don't know that you chose me. Your contract with Fox is up and so I figured it was OK to tell the world about our relationship. See you tonight.

What are the chances?

February 16, 2003

There is no way this just happened. You aren't going to believe this. Remember this girl, the one who wants to move into my apartment over the summer? Well, one of her roommates came up today and asked if she could talk to me. She asked if she could move into my apartment over the summer! Just like the other girl — her roommate! So, I basically told her what I told her roommate; if they are going to move someone in regardless, then I don't mind it if she moves in, else I'd just as soon keep the apartment to myself. I also told her that she might want to consult with her roommate because it is obvious that both of them aren't going to move up here. I was about to tell her that it should be settled by a mud-wrestling contest between the two of them, but I figured that the idea would get shot down before I finished explaining it.

Perhaps I should go down to their apartment and ask if I can move in.

Get in where you fit in

February 15, 2003

It's an absolutely gorgeous day here in Florida. I only know this because I'm at my buddy Sean's place and we are working on our senior design project outside — nice to have notebooks and a wireless network. We may have to work, but dammit, we are going to enjoy the day while we're at it.

Movable Type v2.6

February 13, 2003

Movable Type v2.6 was released today. Movable Type is the name of the Perl/MySQL CMS I've been using for a while. Anyone who knows anything about this sort of stuff will tell you that Movable Type is, without a doubt, the de facto standard for personal CMSs. It's an absolutely brilliant system that allows the author complete control over the layout and design of a website (e.g., this site is entirely hand-coded XHTML/CSS) while taking care of the backend entirely. The more I use it, the more I'm impressed with it.

The upgrade to v2.6 (from v2.51) was as smooth as possible. I had made quite a few changes to some of the search routines in my previous installation. After installing the new files and mirroring the changes, everything was operating as I wanted. No problems.

There is now an official Movable Type Plugin Directory.

While I can't see myself moving away from Movable Type any time soon, there are a couple of other CMSs I've been monitoring. They are each being developed by a single author. The first is Textpattern, from Dean Allen of Textism. The second is Postmaster, from Daniel Benjamin of Hivelogic. I know about these systems because I frequent their blogs daily and they both enjoy talking at length about their upcoming projects. I have to admit, the thing I'm most attracted to about their respective systems is that they use PHP instead of Perl. Just a geek preference.

Like I said, I don't think I'll be leaving Movable Type in the near future, but I'll probably give each of these a shot when they are publicly available.

For the love of god!

February 11, 2003

So, I was all hyped up today. The tracking information on the UPS website told me that my replacement wireless router would arrive today. It did. I want you all to take a stab at what was wrong with the replacement? That's right! Exactly the same thing that was wrong with the initial router — it was BROKEN. They sent me a broken router! I call them up, the tech guy walks me through all the shit he walked me through the last time (I remember it vividly because it was only 2.5 weeks ago!). Meanwhile, all I'm thinking in my head is that this is such a waste of time, but I told myself to hold it together as this guy was simply doing his job. Surprise surprise, he determines that it's broken. He gives me the RMA number or whatever so that I can call the 'return' people.

Here's where it gets good. Here's where I get LIVID. I'm on the phone with the return lady explaining to her the situation. After that's done and she takes down all of my information I ask her if there is any way that the shipment of the router can be expedited this time because as it stood I had already been without one for 2.5 weeks. Hold on to your seats because here is the real kicker. "Sir, I'm afraid we won't be able to do that. We'll need you to send back the replacement so we can take a look at it. Then, we'll most likely send you another one." WHAT!#@$@!#$!#@$ Am I wrong here or is that completely ass-backwards? I understand that I have two of their routers at the moment (one of which I payed for and both of which are BROKEN), but they have my credit-card information and have NO reason not to send me another one. So yah, estimated time of arrival for the router when it is all said and done: at least 1.5 months since it initially died. UNACCEPTABLE. I told the lady to forget it and that I would send back my original router. Went out and bought the cheapest Linksys I could find (less than $80 with tax). It's working like a charm and with better signal strength than the D-Link. I swear, if this one breaks after a few months like the last one, I'm building my own.  :P

Nothing tastes better

February 10, 2003

I just wanted to take this time thank a buddy of mine. Apparently he enjoys betting against me, losing, and paying for my dinners. I appreciate it Ty. It's always a pleasure. I'd like to note that Ty is never going to speak to me again after he reads this.  :)

We had a good run

February 08, 2003

I've surprised myself quite a bit in the past few days. I'm currently working on a term paper titled, Is it in the best interest of mankind to build a human machine? When I set out to write this paper, I obviously held my own views and not surprisingly, the answer was a resounding "Yes!," as anyone who knows me would probably assume. I realized soon after I delved into the research that I was answering the wrong question and thinking the wrong way. As I'm beginning to cite in my paper, the short-term benefits of a human machine are too numerous to count (and I won't here; I'll post the paper when it is finished) and lead us to believe that an ever-better future is upon us. It is, in fact, to a point. The long-term effects of a human (or better) machine are what scares me and it has become readily apparent that they will eventually become our intellectual and physical superiors and will destroy us (either intentionally or rather as an evolutionary side-effect). I can't say that I'm completely against it. As I plan to point out in my paper, I believe now, as more people will come to believe in the future, that human machines are simply the next step in our stagnant intellectual evolution.

So, to reiterate, I was answering the wrong question — thinking in decades instead of centuries. No, I don't think it is in the best interest of mankind to build a human machine because in the long run they will supplant us, and last I checked the extermination of the human species wasn't something we wanted.

There are obviously so many facets to this topic and I wish to touch on quite a few of them in my paper. I'm restricted to ~2500 words though, so we'll see how it goes. Hopefully, I'll present a well-rounded argument that leaves the reader with one truth: we are having a good run, but our time will come.

Knock knock

February 07, 2003

What the hell is going on? The girl that I spoke about here came up to my apartment again a few minutes ago. Not only was she not the UPS man (he's supposed to bring my wireless router replacement sometime soon), but she wanted to come in and see my furniture. WTF? She's all like "Do you have the new furniture or the old furniture?" Of course I have no idea what she's talking about and so she asks if she can see my room. Apparently I have the old furniture, but that's a good thing (so says her). I'm assuming she has talked to management again and has somehow finagled her way into my apartment for the summer. Who knows.


February 04, 2003

D-Link e-mailed me today to tell me that my wireless router replacement is on its way. Pretty quick turnaround. It died about a week ago and I should have a new one by Friday. It's a good thing too as I have become incredibly reliant on 802.11. In fact, it's such a big deal that last night a buddy of mine came over to work on a project and I had him bring over his router (which he will be doing again tonight) because using our notebooks in the living room without Internet access is just a no-no. Granted, I could roll out 25 feet of Cat-5 cable, but where would that leave him? Stranded. I guess we could network the machines through IR, but whatever. The point is, I need wireless.  :)

Good Internet use

February 03, 2003

NASA, in response to the tragic Columbia disaster, has setup an FTP for people to send in amateur video and/or pictures related to the incident.

For anyone who has recorded video or taken photos that they believe may be of aid in the investigation of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident, NASA has established a special location on the Web where Internet users may upload their media files to be reviewed by NASA.

Well, it appears I've eaten up my five free minutes for today; back to work I go.

Links to weblogs

February 02, 2003

The links page now contains a list of the blogs that I visit daily. I had a couple of people ask for these and so I decided to post them.

Final proposal

February 02, 2003

The final proposal for our senior design project is due on Monday. We finished it yesterday. I've made it available here (PDF) for anyone interested.


January 31, 2003

I've converted all of my documents to Adobe's ubiquitous PDF format. This includes everything I've ever written for pleasure or for school (excluding code of course). I was quite disappointed to find out that there was no way for me to do the conversions from a shell. I don't understand why Acrobat doesn't offer the ability to be run from the command-line. When the idea first came to me about converting everything to PDF I immediately thought about writing a simple, recursive shell script to go through my archival directories and convert all documents that hadn't been modified in the last year to PDF. Obviously, without the ability to do it this way, I was left to do each document individually. Though the process was relatively painless, it could have been much faster had a non-GUI option been available.